Wakefield Trinity Team of the Decade

The club who have lived on the edge more so than most are Wakefield Trinity.

Wakefield have survived relegation literally by the skin of their teeth more than once despite the critics writing them off repeatedly.

Since their introduction to the top flight in 1999, Trinity have experienced plenty of ups and downs, with the 2010’s being no different as we look back at who starred in their ranks…

 

Fullback – Richard Mathers

Former Super League champion and England international Richard Mathers is named at fullback. Trinity have had plenty of players in such a position but Mathers was pivotal in their 2012 revival in following the financial struggles of 2011. A new team was drafted together and Mathers instantly thrived, appearing over 60 times, scoring over 20 tries for the club.

 

Wingers – Tom Johnstone & Ben Jones-Bishop

Johnstone has become a fans favourite with the club. Bursting onto the scene in 2015, he scores tries for fun, having nearly averaged one per game with the club, owing to his lightning speed and fantastic finishing ability. Should the 24-year-old have better luck with injury, he will hopefully return to full form in 2020.

Jones-Bishop meanwhile, arrived from Salford in 2016 and has been a regular in the side since. Primarily playing on the wing, the 31-year-old has scored over 60 tries in 100+ appearances, utilising his pace and power with ball in hand to great effect, just as he had done with previous clubs Leeds and Salford.

 

Centres – Bill Tupou & Reece Lyne

Bill Tupou. Credit: David Greaves/News Images

Tupou is another fan favourite and has arguably been one of their greatest imports from down under in the summer era. Having provided try assists to Johnstone and scoring plenty himself, Tupou has been a danger to all opposition and should be the same when he fully recovers from injury.

Lyne was rejected by Hull FC but took his chance with Wakefield to great effect, having made over 160 appearances, scoring over 50 tries. He has been a regular ever since, utilising his speed and strength, and has become one of their greatest centres since 1999.

 

Stand-off – Jacob Miller

Similar to Lyne, Australian Jacob Miller’s services were rejected by the Airlie Birds but he’s been highly successful with Wakefield. The 27-year-old arrived in 2015 and after helping save them from relegation, before leading them to the Super 8s on three occasions. His skill set involves a tricky side-step, accurate kicking game and the ability to support a line break.

 

Scrum-half – Liam Finn

Completing their back line is a veteran Liam Finn. The Irish international arrived at Wakefield for a second spell in 2016, slotting over 250 goals in almost 80 appearances and assisting in Trinity’s resurgence to the Super 8s. Both his kicking game and ability to take on the defence made him a constant threat and is the reason he’s such a popular figure at the club.

 

Props – David Fifita & Kyle Amor

David Fifita. Credit: News Images

Fifita arrived in 2016 and has quickly become one of Trinity’s most popular players both on and off the field. When donning a jersey, Fifita is very difficult take down, having finished the 2017 season as the club’s top metre maker with 3025.

Joining him is former player Amor, who also boasted popularity with the Trinity supporters. The 32-year-old served two seasons with the club, making over 5000 metres in total, with his sheer strength going forward proving a major factor in Wakefield’s ability to stay competitive.

 

Hooker – Kyle Wood

Wood has played five seasons for Wakefield, returning in 2017 from neighbouring team Huddersfield Giants, and had an immediate impact, helping the club to consecutive Super 8s finishes. His quick thinking from acting half keeps Trinity ticking, while his ability to find space for support players causes defences’ constant problems.

 

Second Row – Danny Kirmond & Matty Ashurst

Kirmond signed with the club in 2012 and has experienced both ends of the spectrum as a Trinity player. He has survived relegation through the Million Pound Game, whilst also leading Wakefield through three Super 8s campaigns. Personally, he has made over 150 club appearances, often leading by example in troubling times.

Matty Ashurst. Credit: News Images

Team mate Ashurst signed back in 2015 and was another who assisted in their resurgence following a relegation scare. He is a similar style player to Kirmond – both are efficient when driving the ball in and put in solid defensive stints.

 

Loose Forward – Danny Washbrook

Completing the line-up is former loose-forward Danny Washbrook. The 34-year-old celebrated a joint testimonial with Kirmond at the start of last year and is still respected by Wakefield for his efforts between 2012 and 2015. Washbrook was crucial as a ball handling forward and gave Wakefield an extra attacking option. His defensive work cannot be understated either.

 

Coach – Chris Chester

Arriving in 2016 after controversially leaving Hull KR, Chester assumed the reigns at Wakefield and his positive influence quickly shone through with nine wins from his first 11 matches. Since then, they have challenged for the play-offs more than once and remain a force to be reckoned with.

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